Refugee Encampment

As the conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa stretch on, many people have been forced to flee their homes and have been placed in refugee camps. Some of these camps are now becoming permanent settlements with roads, a market street, and even coffee shops. The oldest UN refugee camp was built in 1948,…

Pipelines

Trenching refers to the excavation of trenches for the construction of, or for an existing, canal, major irrigation channel, pipeline, aqueduct or sewage line. These trenches are deep and cut through any archaeological remains, often seriously disturbing or even destroying them. However, in some cases, trenching can be beneficial. In areas where there have been…

Modern Cemetery

The creation of modern cemeteries on ancient sites is a common practice in the region being investigated by EAMENA. In addition to preventing archaeologists studying the sites, it requires the digging of multiple pits, often at least 6 ft deep. It is particularly common on ancient Bronze Age mounds, also known as tells. Here is an…

Mining and Quarrying

Mining and quarrying can have extensive impacts on archaeological sites and on the remains within them. Modern industrial mining is conducted using explosives and earth-moving machinery, which destroys all archaeological remains without trace. Materials that were valuable thousands of years ago are often still valuable today, so many mines are located over earlier works. Even…

Heavy Weapons / Vehicles

Some heavy vehicles cause can damage to archaeological sites due to their weight and ability to traverse off-road landscapes. This is illustrated by examples central Saudi Arabia (Figures 1 and 2). from Tell Jifar, Syria (Slideshow 1). Figure 1: This December 2010 DigitalGlobe image, available on Google Earth, shows the effects of the heavy 2D…

Earth Moving

Earthworks are the deliberate movement of large amounts of earth to create features such as embankments, ditches or walls. Today they are often created using bulldozers or other heavy earth-moving machinery, affecting significant amounts of archaeological material. We can exemplify this with a look at Palmyra, Syria (Slideshow 1). Slideshow 1: The first satellite image…

Dam Building

In order to meet the increasing need for power and water from a rising population, large dams are being constructed. Many sites are destroyed by the extensive construction required to create dams, and many more are inundated. At present, there has only been limited research into the effects on archaeological sites, but waterlogging will affect…

Construction

Construction of housing developments, industrial installations, mining complexes and commercial properties all have a major impact on cultural heritage. We provide examples from Khirbet es-Suq in Jordan (Figures 1–3), El-Shaikh Ebada, Egypt (Slideshow 1), and Tell Beydar (or Beidar), Syria (Figure 4, Slideshow 2). Two 2007 aerial photographs show the temple (APAAME_20070419_FFR-0267 Kh. uq Temple) and…

Bulldozing/Earth Moving Machinery

Earth moving machinery has a particularly destructive impact on archaeological sites. It is linked to a large number of other impacts: flattening the land to aid agriculture or irrigation schemes; demolishing sites to enable easier looting; terracing to create platforms for agriculture; digging out foundations for construction projects; even building cemeteries. The increasingly easy access…

Road Building

Roads take two main forms. There are small tracks, or places where people drive, the use of which over time will erode sites. These are sometimes covered in gravel. Over time, older tracks are likely to be upgraded due to the requirements of a growing population and/or infrastructure and are consolidated with tarmac, which causes…